Friday, July 13, 2007

U.S. v. Abbouchi (9th Cir. - July 13, 2007)

Did you know that Louisville, Kentucky was right on an international border, thereby justifying an extensive border search (without any suspicion of criminal activity)?

It is.

Not that I disagree. This case is actually a good example of how application of the Constitution (here, the Fourth Amendment) can change in light of modern realities. In 1791, there's no way that a "border" search would have been allowed in Louisville, or anyplace else so far from the actual border. But airplanes, and international mail hubs, make the world a bit different from what it was in 1791. So the application of the Fourth Amendment changes with it.

Here, it results in a reduction of rights. By contrast, sometimes it goes the other way. That doesn't distress me. It instead seems about right.